Essay on Reflections on Research Based Writing

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If we understand library users as “readers who write,” we should reflect on when and why they write. Generally, most users in academic libraries engage in writing based on research or “research based writing.” How are we to understand this particular genre that consumes so many users’ time and instructors’ assessment.

Consider first what research based writing is not. It is not creative writing, although creative writers will often research some aspect of their subject. It is not journalistic writing, although the journalist makes steady use of sources. It is not writing for publication, since it seldom finds an audience of more than five. It is not an essay, although it has a beginning, middle, and end. Eliminating these options, what remains?

Some characteristics of research based writing are obvious. By the nature of its setting, it is a type of academic writing. The writers are students engaged in some form of higher education. The writing itself is a learning exercise used to foster specific learning outcomes. Those who do read it will have certain expectations beyond co...

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